How to Sniff Out the Crazy
Whether you’re at home or overseas it’s important that you take your vitamins, put on sunscreen and, of course, Beware of the Crazies (or BOTC, as a tribute to my last post, TIA). Perhaps you’ve managed to surround yourself with semi-normals and are unaware of, or have simply forgotten the workings of the Crazies. Fortunately for you, I encounter Crazies both in travels and in my hometown, and am well versed in their antics.
The most important thing to remember about Crazies is that they make terrible travel companions. Sure, they might seem tons-of-fun at first and get you to “push your limits” by riding zebras bareback or getting a traditional (read: painful) Thai tattoo. But once the initial adrenaline (and tequila) wears off you’ll be left with one over hyped ball of nuts.
Worse yet, Crazy not only knows who you are and where you’re going, but is probably scheduled to share a hotel room with you at some point in the trip. Oh, and forget about meeting people. That is semi-normal people. Your personal Crazy will manage to win you both lots of new best friends when it comes time for body shots and fire walking, but will also manage to drive anyone away who’s not suffering from dark childhood issues.
Crazies may at first appear harmless. Fun-loving even. They often disguise themselves with self-proclaimed adjectives like “eclectic,” “quirky,” “unconventional,” or even openly admit, “I’m a little crazy!” (said with a laugh which, over time, will escalate to hysterical screech). It is highly important that you do not fall for their tricks. They will one day leave you stranded in the Karoo (‘Can’t you take a joke?!’) or convince you to travel via an illegal smuggler’s boat (‘A once in a life-time experience!’).
Once you have identified a Crazy, you can expect the following sequence of events will occur with remarkable certainty (Crazies, although crazy, are predictable):
- Crazy will be fun.
- Crazy will expect you to be a willing and grateful wingman at all times.
- Crazy will go too far. This may happen in the first week, day or minute of your “super fab” (if Crazy is female) or “lekker” (if Crazy is male) trip. Trust me, it will happen. And when Crazy finally pushes you over the edge with a dare to eat raw buffalo balls or to get a bikini wax from a woman with a beard, the true essence of Crazy will emerge like, well, a crazy phoenix rising from the crazy ashes. Are you getting sick of the word crazy? Better you read it here than experience it during your week at the Seychelles.
- Crazy will go crazy. First comes the Crazy pressure to change your mind; the ‘oh-you’ jibes (if female) or ‘just be cool’ (if male). Then comes the pout (female) or friendly punch that hurts more than you’ll admit (male). Next up, the public humiliation, followed by the guilt trip in the form of ‘I came all the way here with youuuu…’ (extra u’s for female Crazies).
*Note that by this stage Crazy has completely forgotten that this grand adventure was strictly his/her idea; that you were not only convinced into coming but also wound up spotting half of Crazy’s air fare.
- And finally… the Crazy explosion, be it outright or thick with passive aggression. Either way it will be more than enough to put a grinding halt to your holiday cheer.
The secret to these trips of a lifetime is to actually enjoy them, on your terms.
So please do tread lightly when it comes to travelling with Crazies; they always have less to lose than us semi-normals.